The most effective inside salespeople have their workdays organized and approach their time management with focus and intention. They take the time to plan their prospecting outreach by designing a strategic and tactical plan. Planning pays off because their productivity increases. They create new opportunities, grow their pipeline, increase their lead flow, and increase revenue numbers. Make an intelligent prospecting strategy and learn about outreach planning, preparation, and organization.
- Do you have a list of key accounts that you'd like to reach out to? How much planning have you done in your territory? How many outbound calls are you making a day? The secret to properly managing your time lies in the choices you make. When you work according to a determined plan, you can relax on the knowledge that you're exactly where you need to be, and doing what you need to be doing. When you take the time to plan, and set goals, it allows you time to actualize your vision, understand what may hold you back, and determine how you're gonna get there.
When a salesperson is assigned a territory, it only makes sense that they take the time to really understand their universe. The simple exercise of mapping out goals and account strategies, and highlighting a target list of top 25 accounts, helps a salesperson focus, and that pays off. Let's start with the two biggest planning categories, there's territory planning, and there's activity planning. One is more strategic, territory planning, and the other is more tactical, activity planning.
Let's start with strategic territory planning. This is much more big picture, and it focuses on selling in a certain geographical region. Let's say you've been assigned the south-east territory, that's your focus. Many successful inside sales pros, design a quarterly territory plan, which they revisit, refine, and refresh, on a very regular basis. This territory plan becomes their roadmap for their sales goals.
It includes some of the following. A territory summary and overview, what is actually happening in that region? An account base ranking, what is the mix of highly profitable accounts in your territory, versus the high maintenance, but low profit accounts? It includes your sales revenue goals, what are you looking to accomplish on a daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis? It also looks at the trends and early adopters, what target customer is quick to adopt your solution? And don't forget your top 25 target account list, your top strategic accounts you have identified as target accounts you would like to penetrate.
Also, your competitive profile and market share, what the competitive landscape looks like. And a general SWOT analysis, what are your strengths and weaknesses, and what external forces might come along and blindside you? Then there's your tactical activity plan, which focuses on your daily goals and activities. You know the drill when you start out in inside sales, you're given a quota, you're told to make 25 to 65 outbound calls a day, set appointments, handover leads, or close opportunities, that's a lot to think about on a regular basis.
You can accomplish all these tasks successfully, if you take the time to design an activity plan. The most successful salespeople put a value on their time, they know they must hit a certain number of sales activities to measure their day's worth, and they understand what it takes to reach it. Remember, sales is a numbers game, your activity plan will help you determine the daily, weekly and monthly requirements you need to reach your goals.
Here's some questions to think about as you put your activity plan together. How long is your sales cycle? What's your conversion rate from lead to opportunity, from a demo to a presentation, from a presentation to a quote, from a quote to a closed opportunity? How many outbound calls will you make per day? The connection rate is less than 8%, so if you make 55 outbound calls per day, chances are, that you'll connect with only, maybe four or five prospects, and when you do connect, how qualified will they be? How many presentations or demo do you have to make per week? Your activity plan might look something like this.
45 outbound calls per day. Five high-level, meaningful conversations per week. 15 new email introductions per day. Five demo web presentations per week. Five new partner calls per week. Three conference calls per week. Three proposals per week. So you see it's still a numbers game, but the more focused and planned out you are, the better you will execute and create lots of new activities and build your pipeline.
So give it a try, it's time to design your territory and activity plan.
- Understanding the qualities of successful inside sales pros
- Using the right sales tools
- Social selling with LinkedIn
- Improving your response rate
- Building a foolproof qualification plan
- Getting past gatekeepers
- Handling objections
- Closing the sale